Welcome to Nerdarchy! For nerds, by nerds. Today we’re sharing a message from the whole team. Nerdarchists Dave and Ted and Nerditor Doug along with Megan R. Miller and Steven Partridge are the folks you see, hear and read from every day here on the site or over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel. And while we’re no strangers to working from home we understand how challenging this time is for everyone around the world. Fortunately, our hobby and the community is resilient and robust, and we can all find some comfort and solace (and yes, a bit of escape) through our favorite tabletop roleplaying games. Finding joy in our games and each other is more important than ever right now! Everyone at Nerdarchy wanted to do something for the TTRPG community so we came up with some ideas to help you explore online gaming while everyone employs recommended health safety practices like social distancing. We’ve also created a special way for you to select some of the Adventures & Supplements from our store for free to add to your games. Stay nerdy!
Online gaming while social distancing
Here at Nerdarchy we enjoy our TTRPGs in person sometimes, but more often than not our game experiences happen online. We’ve been rolling funny shaped dice with friends new and old via the internet since the earliest days of Nerdarchy. Even today, we play our own Nerdarchy team game online together, with Dave and Ted in New Jersey, Doug and Megan in Ohio and Steven in Indiana. And our monthly one shots with fans takes place online as well.
Nerdarchist Dave has a few recommendations for finding online games so whether you’re a player or a Game Master there’s plenty of opportunities to put a group together and play online.
Nerdarchist Ted suggests a few ways he’s keeping busy. Finding positive ways to spend your time indoors is important for health too, and Ted is focusing on improving his crafting skills. Taking this time to prep and plan however you run is using this time wisely.
“I am stepping up my crafting to prepare for my current game as well as some other future options as well. Sitting on a pile of ideas and started stuff, now is a good time to turn those things into actual game items. The same can be said for preparing material. So however you want to prepare material and stuff now is a great opportunity to do so.”
Nerditor Doug took this opportunity to contact players from his home group and get them back together. Everyone had either moved away or schedules changed enough that the group had fizzled but with everyone working at home and otherwise limiting travel and so forth, the players are energized and excited to get together online. Doug’s group uses Google Hangouts, and there’s many other apps and communication software you can use. Group Facetime, Skype, Zoom are a few options. Here is an article from CNET with some great options: 7 free video chat apps to use if you’re social distancing
Doug also highly recommends checking out Weave, a storytelling platform from Monocle Society. It’s a great game with a terrific community. Doug has met and played Weave a few times through the Monocle Society Discord. You can learn more about Weave here on our website and straight from the source at the Monocle Society Discord here.
Also, it’s worth noting our friends over at D&D Beyond are making it easier to game online with friends and family too. DDB is temporarily increasing the campaign limit on content sharing from 3 campaigns to 5. Head over to D&D Beyond and check it out here.
In general, Doug suggests keeping an open eye and open mind for online gaming opportunities. Some of the best experiences have come from simply responding to a social post looking for players. If you are looking for an online game, it’s not hard to find!
Nerdarchy writer and game designer, author Megan R. Miller wants to share a message of encouragement for players out there.
“My best advice is not to be afraid to start things. Sometimes, if you want to get into D&D online or even just participate in casual RP in your favorite MMO, people will wallflower and wait to be approached. I know a lot of people who get nervous about approaching others, but usually folks are delighted to have someone else make contact.
This is also an excellent time to hand draw some dungeon maps and get some advanced preparation done. Even if you’re not actively playing right this second, building up material to run later can be just as compelling.”
And our other amazing Nerdarchy writer, author Steven Partridge was actually working on this idea independently already, so he has a wealth of ideas for you. Steven expands the conversation to include gaming at home, perhaps enticing your nongaming loved ones to try something new. This is a great idea! Welcoming new players to the hobby we all love means more people to enjoy games with. Along these lines Doug introduced his girlfriend to D&D and connects with her daughter through games too. They’re planning a Mice & Mystics game night already!
“When it comes to gaming at home during social distancing, our families are going to be our gaming tables, primarily. Try to pick a setting that your whole family can enjoy. If everyone in the family loves a TV show or movie series, try writing a campaign in that setting. D&D is surprisingly easy to adapt to genres outside of traditional fantasy.
It might be difficult at first, due top age gaps or other differences, but playing D&D during this time can be an excellent way for families to connect with one another. Try opening your minds and exploring new ideas or areas of disagreement within the family. Few families all hold the exact same stances on everything, and the gaming table can be a non-judgmental safe space to explore certain themes and ask some really big questions.
You don’t need to know all of the rules to run a storytelling game, and maybe D&D is a little too complex for some people, but dice are a pretty universal concept. Knowing that if I roll a d20 and want the highest number is a great way to start a storytelling TTRPG. Akin to the game Dread, try telling a story together without character sheets, as such. Whenever a point of contention or potential plot turn comes into play, roll the d20 to decide the fate of the story!
Be willing to give a little when it comes to gaming at home with your loved ones. It might be that different people like different genres. Maybe multiple people want to run the game or play a character. Take turns, and be gracious. The gaming table is a place intended to be fun for everyone. If it’s still difficult to find a middle ground when it comes to genre or setting, maybe indulge and take the plunge; try something new, even if you’re sure you won’t like it. I’ve personally found that I broadened my horizons by reading books or playing games in genres I’m not normally fond of!
Above all, remember to take breaks for space. With social distancing and quarantines and all of this going on, people are likely going to get tired of one another sooner or later. Take breaks to be apart. Give one another space, and communicate openly about triggers or topics of conflict during gaming, or even outside the gaming table.
Gaming at home is a fantastic opportunity for deepening relationships with those we live with and for exploring new aspects of others we never knew.
Stay safe and nerdy, everyone!”
Free RPG stuff!
Between Nerdarchy’s enormous video library and huge number of posts here on the website there’s no shortage of ideas for you to add to your online games. But that’s a lot to browse! Here’s a few links to help you navigate these free resources:
- Adventure Hooks
- Hooked on Adventure
- Quest Starters
- Secret History
- Advice for Streaming and Running D&D Games Online| Game Master Tips
- Tabletop RPG Gaming Offline Gaming VS Online Gaming No Holds Barred Death Match
- Nerdarchy Live Chat # 22- Play D&D Online or Other Role-Playing Games
Lastly, we created a special coupon you can use here in Nerdarchy the Store. We wanted to offer some of our digital Adventures & Supplements for free, but we wanted to let you choose the ones that look the most fun to you. So here’s the deal. Load up your cart with any three items from Adventures & Supplements. Enter the coupon code STAYNERDY when you’re ready to check out and three of those items will receive a 100% discount. The coupon applies to the three highest priced items automatically. The coupon can’t be used with any others, and is limited to one time use per person, good through April 30. Explore our Adventures & Supplements and pick any three you want right here.
We hope that you have as much fun adding these scenarios and elements to your games as we did creating and adding them to our own! While everyone does their best to stay safe and healthy, we hope these ideas and recommendations bring you some joy during this challenging time in the world. Let us know how your online games go, your favorite Adventures & Supplements and of course, as always, stay nerdy!